Posted 9 days ago
Schools closed across the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe on Monday and France's president warned of a "very explosive" situation in the territory, after protests against COVID-19 rules and vaccinations descended into days of rioting and looting.
France's central government sent in police special forces to try to restore order to the former colony, as emergency workers said they were unable to reach neighborhoods barricaded by angry crowds.
"We have several patients" in the blockaded area of La Boucan, tweeted Patrick Portecop, head of the regional emergency service. "We are powerless."
Guadeloupe’s education department ordered schools closed for all ages Monday "taking into account the situation," and asked parents to keep their children at home.
Demonstrations in Guadeloupe, an overseas French department of about 400,000 people, erupted over France’s mandatory vaccinations for health care workers and the COVID-19 health pass, required to enter restaurants and many other venues across France. As they degenerated into rioting, an 80-year-old woman was hit by a bullet while on her balcony and at least two others have been injured, according to local authorities.
While mainland France has seen similar protests, demonstrators in Guadeloupe are also angry over deep-seated economic, social and racial inequality, and expanded their demands in recent days to include a general salary increase, higher unemployment benefits and the hiring of more teachers.
Guadeloupe's COVID-19 vaccina... (Read more)